To combat the prejudices felt against both tattooed people and rescue dogs, photographer Brian Batista started a heartwarming project. He would photograph them together. Tattoos and Rescues began back in September 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama and it shows photos of rescue dogs with their loving owners. Pit bulls, with their bad reputation, are the ones often featured in this series. In the photo above, owner Richard Burgess stands paws to hands with his rescue puppy Major. The small pit bull has a scar running down his face from an attack by another dog where he was badly injured. His owner says he’s now very happy. In the picture you’ll notice that Richard has stamped his knuckles with the words “Save Them” to show the never-ending plight of rescues.
Saved from abuse and abandonment, the dogs seem happy as they sit or lay in the arms of their caring owners. The project is much more than an advocacy for rescue animals, however, it’s also an important reminder that those with tattoos are still discriminated against, despite the fact that, now, one in five Americans are inked. Brian cites an example of one of his friends who got a memorial tattoo on his neck for his four-year-old son that had died.
As he writes on his website, “He was fired the next day for having this tattoo which was showing his love for his son with art and self expression. This is nothing short of bullying, it’s not fair and needs to be stopped. Not all visibly tattooed people are in hate groups, just like not all pit bulls are vicious. Support your local animal rescue and advocacy groups before judging the animals. Ask a person why they have the tattoo they do before you judge them.”